The author specified that this is due to some scenes of intense violence, advising reader discretion.
As such, it is suggested that only users 13+ read this page.
(Author's note: Lani and Levi are not my own; Lani is owned by ShayminSkyflower and Levi is owned by jerijune. Eaphron, Osmond, Ra'Kayla, and the Blood-Creatures belong to me.)
Chapter 1: Arrivial
Arrivial: The action or process of arriving.
My entry into the world I live in now didn’t involve a grand entry with trumpets, though that would’ve been nice.
I apologize; I need to tell you a bit about myself. My name was John, and before my entry, I had been through the worst day of my life, my girlfriend had dumped me, I had been laid off my job, and my house been seized. Now, where was I, oh yeah, my arrival into the world wasn’t grand.
It was more along the lines of bright light, a searing pain, and under it all, a sad melody.
Then it was over. I was lying on my chest, trying to stand as the light faded from my eyes and rain began to drench my now unclothed body. As I stood, I opened my eyes, looking around as the wind began to howl in my ears. The world around me was…different, more open than wherever I had been standing before, wherever that was.
“In the name of!” I cried, seeing lightning strike on the far side of the clearing I realized I stood in. Panicking, I tried to back away, only to trip as I realized I didn’t quite have feet anymore.
“This is just a dream, just a dream.” I began to mutter to myself, my words lost under the wind. Continuing to repeat my words, I tried again to run for the tree line, this time managing to make it. All I knew was that I had four toes now, three forward and one back. My sprint came to an abrupt end when I tripped over an exposed root, sending me into the rain-soaked mud, jamming my beak deep into the ground.
Wait, a beak.
As I drew my new facial feature out of the mud, I began to absently wonder what other changes had been done to my body. As I began to feel forward, I had another incident of bad luck, this time tripping into a cave.
I fell into the palpable darkness, tripping head over heels, and landing on my back. The pain was quickly overcome when I discovered that I had a new pair of limbs and a tail. Quickly standing and beginning to reach behind me, I discovered that I had a tail not unlike a bird’s tail. It was about two, maybe three feet long.
My next discovery was that my third pair of limbs was actually wings. I wasn’t surprised in the least; it was just a lucid dream, I assured myself. “I’ll just wait it out, and soon I’ll wake up,” I said to myself, lying on my side against the cold, wet floor of the cave.
When I woke up, I took a deep breath, and stepped out of my room.
The light of the sun overhead was blinding. As my feet sank into the mud, I realized that I hadn’t been dreaming; if I had, I would've have progressed to another dream or woken up by now. Instead, here I was, standing at the edge of a clearing, a jungle surrounding me, and with a whole new form. Curious, I began to examine my new body.
Talons, definitely those of a bird of prey. Yellow scale-like skin extending up to right below my knee. My thighs and arms bore snow white feathers, while my hands were mostly the same, except yellow, while the nails were curved and jet black. My stomach was a light sky-blue, lacking the feathers of my arms and legs.
“So, a bird of prey, but what type?” I muttered, looking for a puddle from the storm. After a brief scan of the clearing, I noticed one behind me, near the cave entrance, which looked like a trench that went downward. Stepping up beside it, I examined my head. Not much help really, a bald, blue head, a yellow beak, and a pair of yellow eyes.
“Great, only partly animal, that doesn’t help,” I said, turning around and trying to figure out what to do.
This was a different world, so I the first thing I needed was food, followed by water, and finally a weapon. I would usually go for a weapon first, but since I had talons and a beak, I figured I’d be able to fend for myself for a while. Until then, there was water from the storm, even though I couldn’t carry it, and food was still an issue.
Still, as I spread my wings, I wondered if I could just fly around, or if I should pick a direction and head that way.
After a moment’s indecision, I picked the latter, deciding to use the tailwind to head west. As I spread my wings, I smiled, having wanted to fly, with my own power and nothing else’s, since I was younger. Flapping my wings, I slowly lifted off. Wobbling and trying to correct, I accidentally angled too far forward, and promptly slammed into the ground. Lifting myself out of the puddle I had landed in, I stood, determined to succeed this time. Looking at the clearing, I took five bounding leaps, and at the crescendo of the sixth, I spread my wings and flapped, actually managing to gain altitude. This time, I managed to stay in the air, laughing as I climbed above the jungle trees, enjoying the feel of the wind.
I used the tailwind to head west. Continuing through the day and not seeing any civilization, it was actually scary; if I was the only person in this world, that was more horrifying than having other people, even if hostile. Occasionally I saw what looked like an animal, or a vehicle, and despite my curiosity, I decided to avoid them, at least for a while.
I still feared being the only person in this whole new world.
Night had fallen by the time I arrived at the end of my flight: a beach. Gliding down, I threw my legs in front of me, landing on my feet before tumbling face-first into the sand. Picking myself up, I made a mental note to learn how to land. Once I tucked it away, I kneeled down into the sand, tucking my head next to an extended wing.
I was almost asleep when I heard the rumbling.
Lazily, I cracked open a single eye, and I saw it: the sand was shifting, creating a path similar to moles, but only briefly before the sand collapsed. Wearily, I stood, noticing there were five of these mounds. Noting that this wasn’t natural, I began to back away, before remembering my wings. I immediately stopped and crouched instead, my wings flaring. Soon, one of the mounds came directly for me, giving me my cue.
I jumped, and the creature made its appearance.
A tan monstrosity, shaped like a shark, leaped out of the ground, missing my foot by inches, but managing to scare me enough to tilt left, sending me on collision course with the ground.
I landed on my feet this time, turning and throwing a foot behind me at the same time. To my surprise, I connected with the head of one, cutting its right side.
The beast sank back into the sand, as the next one came at me. I repeated the same strategy, this time doing more damage than a scrape.
I hit the eye, and entire side of the monster seemed to explode, causing it to smash into the sand. Thinking fast, I jumped onto the corpse, keeping myself moving. When the next one came for me, it collapsed the ground beneath the corpse, causing it, and me, to plunge into the sand. Thankfully, I pulled myself out before it could take my legs off. Then two of them rushed me. At this point, I opened my hands, wondering if I could do some damage with the nails, along with my talons. The first one that came at me wriggled across the sand, only half submerged and looking like a sea serpent. The second stayed submerged and leapt out when it came close. I threw a hand across the second one, missing the eye, but managing to dodge and stay alive for a couple of seconds more. When the first one attacked, I did something risky.
I jumped on the shark, grabbing its fin and holding on for dear life. The monster, noticing that I was on its back, began to buck like a bronco. Roaring, I drove a finger into the eye of the monster.
The struggle took only seconds, but when the beast attacked, it did so with ferocity that managed to surprise me. But in the end, I won through, tearing out a pair of teeth as I leaped off. The teeth, if they could be called that, weren’t like any shark teeth I’ve ever seen. They were straight, with a small curve near the end. The next one that came for me received two cuts before backing away. It was then I noticed that I had only killed two, because the last three rushed me. Roaring at them, I decided to make a final stand.
I killed the one that rushed ahead, smashing the pair of teeth against the side, and the eye. The next two managed to do more; one locked its teeth around one of feet before an arrow tore through the eye, even as I collapsed. The next beast jumped on me, trying to tear into my head, my arms stopping it, despite putting pressure on my wings. Using the last of my strength, I heaved it to the side, following with one of the shark teeth.
An arrow struck the shark in the eye before the tooth reached it. In my dazed state of mind, I didn’t bother thinking about it; instead, I stood and inspected my shin.
The shark’s head had to be detached, and after that, it was nasty. The shark had left a bleeding mess that looked more like a yellow landscape dotted with a hundred ruby-red rivers than my leg. After a moment of staring and breathing hard, my vision started to blur, and I heard a pair of voices shouting. Turning, I saw what looked like a Leopard and an Owl running across the beach.
“Get him off the sand!” the Owl yelled, sounding distant. Then something seemed to click, and I blacked out.
Chapter 2: Strange New World
Equipment: The necessary items for a particular purpose.
When I came to, I heard arguing in the background.
“He’s not fit to head for the Eagle tribe! He almost had his leg torn off by a Sand-Shark, and you want to send him off alone!” I heard a female say, growling slightly at the end.
“Yes, but he brought down three of them on his own, and once he has some armor and a weapon, he should be fine,” a male voice said. Curious, I opened my eyes and turned right, to the direction the noises were coming from.
I was met with the Leopard and Owl I had seen on the beach before I had fainted, and I wanted to know what they were talking about.
“What…is the Eagle…tribe?” I asked, my voice cracking as I realized that I hadn’t had any water for a while. After a good second, they both turned towards me, the Leopard seemed surprised, while the Owl had a relaxed expression.
“A society of Eagles much like yourself,” the Owl answered, grinning slightly. “Oh good, you’re awake. That was risky, you know, sleeping on the beach? What were you thinking?” the Leopard asked, watching as I tried to sit up.
“I thought it would be safe.” I said, looking at a table next to me. The Leopard made an annoyed sound before turning back to the Owl.
“He’s a wanderer, Osmond, he doesn’t know anything.” the Leopard said, finally disappearing into another room as I found a bowl of water.
“Her name is Lani. I’ve only seen her act this way over Wonald, never an Eagle like you,” the Owl said. I assumed his name was Osmond, as Lani hadn’t addressed me. Another mystery had been solved, though: I was an Eagle. That was one less mystery.
“So, I’m a bird?” I asked, managing to swallow all the water afterward in two large gulps.
“Only partly; most people that come here are wolves, or Ravens, in some cases,” Osmond said, retrieving a staff and sitting on a chair.
“So, where is here?” I asked, trying to stand up.
“The name of this world is Chima. As for where, I have no idea; a different planet, timeline, or universe, I don’t know,” Osmond said as I rolled out of bed, smashing into my left foot, and causing it to explode in pain. Making a strange hissing noise, I looked down. The pair hadn’t done much to my leg wound, at least five gaping holes were visible, two of which were oozing, while the rest were red, but dry. “Sorry we couldn’t do more, we don’t have much in the way of herbs or medicines,” Osmond said, watching as I probed at a patch where a couple feathers had been torn off.
“What were those things?” I asked, trying to stand again, succeeding this time.
“Sand-sharks; they roam the beaches at night, and stay in the ocean during the day. If it’s daytime, they won’t come to shore, but at night, you’ll be torn apart. Frankly, it’s a miracle you even survived,” Osmond said, watching as I began to wander around the room.
“Why? They weren’t that difficult,” I said, leaning against a wall.
“You don’t understand, they had just about overwhelmed you, and Eagles are fast, but fragile. If one had reached your torso, you would’ve been killed, easily,” Osmond said, watching as I stepped into another room.
A set of armor lay on a stand, gleaming in the light that streamed through the window. Staring at it curiously, I stepped forward, awed that something like this would be hidden.
“It’s yours,” I heard Osmond said behind me. Barely acknowledging him, I stepped up to the stand, examining each piece carefully without touching.
Finally, I began to don each piece, starting with a loincloth and the lower plating, followed by kneepads and the chestplate, which a harness went over, then finally, a helmet, white, with three streaks of black leading back to the prongs. As soon as I fitted and secured everything, I stepped out of the room, noticing that the armor was light, and that it barely inhibited my movement at all. When Osmond saw me, a small grin spread across his face.
“Everything fits, how do you like it, Eaphron?” he asked. I snapped my head towards him.
“What did you call me?” I asked, letting a slight bit of anger creep into my tone.
“Eaphron, Every name starts with the same letter of the tribe, your name was plucked from the stars last night, but usually I interpret one when a person arrives,” Osmond said, fiddling with his staff.
“So, I’m Eaphron?” I asked.
Breakfast was unimpressive, just a couple fillets of fish, which I had never really liked, but seemed natural in this world, so I went along with it. To my surprise, I actually liked fish; for the first time in my life, it was amazing. Lani more or less faded in and out, not really speaking, and obviously ticked off at Osmond.
Later on, in the middle of the day, Lani finally approached me.
“You’re a Wanderer, right?” she asked, sitting down in a wooden chair, the odd shape catching my attention. It was like a stool, with a small tube on one side supporting the thin backrest. The more I examined it, the more ingenious I realized it was; if I kept myself in the center, I couldn’t hurt my wings or tail when sitting.
“Act like I don’t know anything, what’s a Wanderer?” I asked, sitting down.
“Someone who arrives in Chima with no memory of their previous life. They think they came through the Outlands, but they’re never sure,” Lani said as I found a seat.
“I didn’t come through the Outlands. All I remember is a blinding light, someone singing, and then I was in a clearing in a storm,” I said, watching as Osmond came into the room.
“You remember the Passing?” Osmond asked.
“What’s the Passing?” Lani asked, looking at Osmond curiously. Osmond closed his eyes and sighed.
“Lani, I need you to leave.” Osmond said, sounding artificial.
“No, anything you tell him, you tell me; I trust you,” Lani said, watching Osmond as he took his own seat.
“Alright. The Passing is what happens when a person crosses into Chima. Usually, the experience is too traumatic for them to remember anything, but you, you remember the passing,” Osmond said, directing the last part of his little speech towards me.
“So, he passed into Chima, from where?” Lani asked, making Osmond sigh.
“Lani, I never told any of this. I figured that if anyone else knew, it would cause a breakdown and mass hysteria. Wanderers are from a different world, possibly a different universe,” Osmond said, making Lani gasp.
“You knew? And you didn’t tell anyone?” Lani asked, leaning forward. I could tell she was getting ready to jump from her chair if needed.
“Well, I’m one of them. I have no idea how the two worlds interact, but as far as I know, objects from the opposite world can enter anywhere, while objects crossing from here to there have only one access point. Out in the ocean, I’ve seen it,” Osmond said, fiddling with his staff while Lani’s eyes twitched back and forth between me and him.
“So let me get this straight, you—and Eaphron—came from at the very least a different world, and how did you arrive?” she asked, standing.
“I don’t know. That’s part of why I’m going to the Eagle tribe; they have a book written on the Wanderers, and I need to read it,” Osmond said, turning to me. I threw my hands up.
“Hey, I’m ready to leave now, just give me a weapon and we can go,” I said, looking at Lani, then at Osmond.
“It’s a two day trip, I’ll pack food and water,” Lani said, vanishing into another room.
“You want a weapon? Come, I have an axe you might like,” Osmond said, leaning heavily on his staff and walking into another room. I followed, and was met with a gleaming gold axe.
The head of the axe was gold and flared, with intricate carvings running across its length, the handle was a polished wood, with more carvings running the length and terminating in a spike at the bottom.
“Its name is Somnium Herba. I’m unaware of the meaning of the first word, but the second means blade. It has seen few battles, and has awaited its true owner since the day it was crafted: you,” Osmond said, watching as I took the blade off the rack and swung it experimentally. It whistled through the air and struck the side of the tower, cutting into the wall and staying there, humming slightly.
“Maybe you’d do better with these,” Lani said, materializing out of nowhere with a pair of white, curved, knives. They looked very familiar.
“Are those…” I said, stopping and waiting for her to confirm it.
“Yes, Osmond and I crafted them into a pair of blades and sharpened the edges. I like knives myself, so I’d take these any day,” Lani said, handing the pair to me. As I looked over what I wearing, I realized that I had nowhere to put them.
“Here, you might need this.” Osmond said, procuring a small pouch. I accepted it gratefully and gently placed the two daggers inside.
“Alright, so when do we leave?” I asked, getting slightly twitchy at the prospect of adventure.
“Right now, if you want.”